UPDATE 1-LPC-Glencore launches refinancing of US$8.45bn loan

(Adds company confirmation)

LONDON, Jan 14 (Reuters) - Global diversified natural resource company Glencore has launched senior syndication of a refinancing of a US$8.45bn, one-year revolving credit facility that it signed in May 2015, banking sources said on Thursday.

The facility supports the company’s trading activities.

A company spokesman confirmed that the refinancing was underway. Normally the company would begin the refinancing process in April, but it has decided to the put the financing in place earlier.

The company has approached its top tier lenders and is looking to wrap the senior phase by the end of February, before launching a wider syndication post-results in April.

Active bookrunners on the deal are ABN AMRO, HSBC, ING, Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi UFJ and Santander, all of which have credit approval for the deal.

The financing is expected to receive strong support from the market, the sources said, despite Glencore being hit hard by a slump commodities in 2015, which forced it to launch debt reduction programme.

The existing facility was part of a US$15.25bn financing arranged in May 2015, which included a US$6.8bn, five-year revolving credit facility. The five-year facility is being left in place.

Active bookrunners on that deal were BBVA, HSBC, Lloyds Bank and Rabobank.

Glencore is rated BBB by Standard & Poor’s. (Editing by Christopher Mangham)